The Common Good and the Common Destiny
"The Common Good and the Common Destiny"
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave this address at the Ohio State Capitol Reception in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 11, 2006, titled "The Common Good and the Common Destiny.")
We praise G-d, the One G-d for all of us. We are told in our religion to say to the People of the Book, the Christians and Jews, that "Your G-d and our G-d is One in The Same G-d." I begin with that.
I want to say that we, as Christians, Jews and Muslims, are having the same Guidance from G-d for our human life. G-d intends for us all to have life and have it better and better all the time.
We have the life of our Prophet Muhammed, the model for human life and behavior in excellent form. G-d wants a beautiful and excellent life for all of us. Jesus Christ, as I understand him in Scripture, also is a sign and model of the best human life that is possible for us on this planet earth.
Muhammed and Jesus Christ invite us to the same, the best possible life we can have. And we don't believe we can have that life without G-d Who created it. He Who created it knows best what is good for His Creation.
I have felt so wonderful since I have been in this town (Columbus, Ohio) meeting so many of my friends and fellow leaders of my association, and the Christians and leaders from other faiths. The honorable leaders here behind me, I have been made to feel so good to be in your presence and to know what you are all about.
It will be the Believers who will make the world better. Leaders can come from unexpected places and people, or families and neighborhoods, etc., if they are touched in their hearts the way G-d wants them to be touched.
If they are motivated and sincere, eventually G-d will bless them with the light and enough support to get help from many other people in their area and outside of their area - from the whole world. G-d can do that for us, and G-d has done that for us.
Our religion is no different from Christianity and Judaism, in this respect, it wants to promote the best. Even the Scripture, itself, has variations, when it comes to what it can produce for us. Some parts of the Scripture, the Qur'an or the Bible, if you take it, it will give you only so much.
Other parts of the Scripture, if you take it, it will give you much more. Even the Scripture varies in what we can do for human life, how we can serve human life and how we can promote the excellence that we all want for our life on this earth.
G-d says, "Take the best thereof." This is Qur'an, our Holy Book. You know you can open the Bible and the Qur'an and your eyes might fall on a certain page that may not move you at all. It might perplex you. It might confuse you. It might make you say, "I have to get away from this page and open another page."
That is with any Scripture. The Scripture is given to serve life on all levels - intelligence on all levels, sincerity on all levels. Some of us are not as sincere as others, so it is designed to serve all levels of life and the whole of life -life for the individual, life for the family, life for the community, life for the world, life for a person in a particular profession or aim in life or ambition.
In Christianity, Judaism and Islam, you will find men of all professions, who believe in these faiths. G-d says, again, "Take the best thereof." And G-d gives us a human model. He says of this human model, "This is what I want in all of you."
Jesus Christ, of him He said, that he spoke to his people and said, "I in You (G-d), and You in me." Christians will tell you that Christ is in everybody.
Muhammed said, "Every human being born is born a Muslim, until the environment they are put in makes them otherwise," a Christian or other.
Brother Muslims and Sister Muslims who are here, our Prophet is pointing to the same excellence, purity and goodness that G-d put in Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Christians will call it the Christ-nature. We call it Muslim. We are talking about the same thing. We have been created for the same thing.
We are to be conscious of that life and have respect for that life and build on that life, so that it will grow and become more useful for ourselves and more useful for mankind.
Our Prophet said, "The best of you are the ones who are most useful for mankind, for all people." We are not as separate as we think we are. We are essentially one people.
We have concepts in Islam called Taqwa and Tawheed. Taqwa is a consciousness that brings small minds into the open universe, with our minds and our hearts. Eventually we arrive at Tawheed, the way of the Prophets who guided mankind to the Oneness of mankind and the creation, the unity of mankind under One G-d.
If you were to hear Muslims say what is their Articles of Faith, the important statements of Faith, and then listen to the Christians say what is their important Articles of Faith, you will see that they are the same.
It is the same for any human being who is motivated to embrace goodness everywhere and acknowledge that goodness everywhere.
The Muslim says, "Surely, G-d is all good, and He does not accept anything except that that is good." We are to appreciate good and want good for our own life.
It is our own short view or opinions or perceptions of what is logic, what is rational, what is true that separates us.
If we follow our natural urges coming from the purity of our essence, we all would be in agreement. We are here for the same and all want the same for the future, an excellent life. We want our families to be in good shape. We want our children to be safe.
Our babies come here speaking baby language. They don't come hear speaking Yoruba, Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, Japanese or Russian. All of them come here speaking baby language and have to learn all of our separate languages.
The Creator gave us one and the same life and made us one and the same people. Then there come the differences, the different histories, the different languages, the different ethnic make ups, etc. But all of these are additions put on the baby, born in the family of human beings as one member.
Our separate locations put a dress on the baby, an addition on the baby. It takes the baby and makes it different. Then he looks around and sees how different he is.
But if we could go back, return as Allah in the Qur'an says, "To G-d is your eventual return."
When we return to the baby, we return to the original Muslim, the original innocence of the baby, the innocent nature and life of the baby. For the Christian returning to that, it is returning to the first Christ nature.
The languages, as we learn to express them, separate us. But if you can research and go back in history and find the original language, the language of the original nature in its purity as G-d created it, we find that we all want peace and the good life for ourselves and for our families, our children.
We all want heaven. We don't want hell. We will have hell, but we don't really want it. Everybody wants heaven. This is the common life, the common good, the common destiny.
The common destiny is the destiny that G-d has created for us in our very human composition. G-d has composed us naturally, originally, to want goodness, to want heaven not hell, to want peace and decency and respect. We want to feel that we are with people who care about themselves and about others.
We cannot have this without respect for the better. If the followers of our leaders would return to their better nature, listen to their better nature, and choose leaders with that better spirit and better nature, the world would improve so much. Misery would be taken out of our lives and out of our neighborhoods, if we would do that.
But somehow, the environment that we live in, in these times, is not as conducive for us collecting our better senses, coming back to our better minds, as it was for man before industrialization and accumulation of money, and things that give us pleasure, cluttered the neighborhoods and cluttered the buildings, cluttered with dead things.
It is not like the original environment before man built his world and made his environment and made it so cluttered.
We need leadership to keep us aware of what is best for the original life that G-d made. We know this environment that we come out in everyday, with the liquor store across the street and on the corner and all other stuff in our view when we walk out of the house, is not what G-d wanted us to look at when we wake up and go out from our private quarters.
G-d wanted us to see the beautiful world of living things, trees and animals and how beautiful fall is with all of its beautiful colors. See how G-d made the green things to grow strong and beautiful. But before they go to sleep for the long period of time before spring comes again, they give us the beautiful colors of fall.
Not only beauty, they give us substance for our life, fruit and grain. And it gives it to us abundantly. They just drop the fruit down, generously. They give us beauty generously.
G-d said in Scripture that He gave the parable of human life as the parable of a plant. So that says to us that G-d wants us to give our best before we die, before we take that winter sleep. He wants us to give the beauty of life.
If we could be motivated as the Seers, the Prophets, the Messengers of G-d - motivated by G-d's Handiwork in His Universe with all of its possible views - we will have a power to overcome a lot of these weaknesses we have and the trends that we have become set in. We would have the power to overcome.
G-d said in our Holy Book, "Oh man, don't think that your creation is a bigger creation than the Universe." The Universe is bigger than us. If we become separated from it or unrelated to it, we become smaller and smaller.
If we wake up and began to appreciate it, and say, "Let me look at G-d's Work, at what G-d did!" as you look at it and start appreciating it, it will start increasing your own worth.
G-d's Work will increase your intelligence and most of all increase your decency. But in man's world, we have not the original environment that G-d intended to support your life and open up your life to a great future, that would make a Paradise on earth for us, if we accept it.
We want the same things. Science tells us that we are all human. That is our first identity. That is what connects us all together. We are human. We are not dogs, cats, tigers, trees - we are human. That is our true identity.
And because we recognize that as our true identity, we can be served by the same doctor. The doctor can serve a black man or a white man. He only wants to know if it is a human, for he was taught to treat humans. He has the science and the medicine and skills to treat humans.
Life would be so much better, if we would just close our eyes to everything we think we know and then ask G-d to open our eyes again.
Thank you and may G-d guide us to His Purpose for human life on this earth. Ameen.